Greener Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 2 (2), pp. 066-076, May 2012
ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 GJSS
Western Imperialism in Africa: The Italian Connection.
Political Science Department
Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni, Rivers State, Nigeria.
Email: iafn@ yahoo .com
African contact with the Western World right from the fifteenth century marked the gloomy dawn of imperialism, and an unending trail of exploitation of the continent. This process which lasted many centuries led to a plethora of institutions, values and etiquette which over time consolidated an alien social order. The prime motive of all these was to unceasingly appropriate the essential resources of the colonies, and subject the continent ‘… within the ambit of international commercial flows’.
Unfortunately, extant literature on imperial rule of Africa has concentrated on the activities of a few countries, with amazing disregard or slight attention to the Italian imperial forage in the continent. The aftermath is that Italian legacy in Africa seem to be withering away. The focus of this paper therefore, is to analytically demonstrate the unique role Italy played in the imperialist coup d’grace of the continent. The paper argues that its entry into the scramble for Africa brings to the fore the fallacy of Western civilizing mission to Africa. Most interesting is the fact that almost all the countries subjugated by Italy had no trace of mineral endowment.
Perhaps this may have accounted for the haphazard colonial administration which left the countries in an intractable post-colonial conflicts and wars such as in Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia. Consequently, an objective exposition of Italian imperialist motivation in Africa will enrich the comprehension of the theory of imperialism.
It concludes that this understanding will go a long way in addressing some of the lingering post-colonial and post-conflict challenges in the continent.
Keywords: Irredentism, Dependency, Imperialism, Assimilation, capitalism.
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